Recharging your electronics is such a drag. All that waiting, tethered to the wall gets old. Fortunately a group of MIT engineers have managed to create a battery that charges in just 10-20 seconds. Researchers once thought that lithium ions (and electrons) moved too slowly through the battery material. However, Gerbrand Ceder, the Richard P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, also head of the current project, said that the ions themselves should be moving very quickly according to computer calculations.
Further study showed that the lithium ions moved extremely fast into the battery material, but only by way of surface tunnels if set directly in the path of the lithium ions; those that did not enter surface tunnels did not pass into the material. The new surface created by Ceder and Byoungwoo Kang, a graduate student, allows the lithium ions to move across the material as if on the beltway of a major city, getting off at the next exit -a surface tunnel- rather than halting altogether. The result? A full charge in seconds.